Acura used Sunday’s AFC Championship game as a springboard for the refreshed ILX sedan’s marketing campaign.
Acura may be sitting out the Super Bowl this year, but the brand wasn't going to let the high-profile NFL playoffs slip by without making a peep.
The first commercial for the entry-luxury ILX, “Bottle,” aired during the New England Patriots' 45-7 blowout over the Indianapolis Colts. Acura said the commercial was part of the ILX’s larger "Catch it if You Can" campaign that will continue in the coming months.
The 2016 ILX costs $27,970, including shipping, and hits dealerships in February. ILX sales fell 13 percent to 17,854 vehicles last year and the model has struggled at times since its launch. Acura sales rose 1.5 percent in an overall U.S. market that rose 6 percent.
“American Honda (includes Honda and Acura) has a multi-year agreement that allows us to have a larger advertising presence during the AFC game. So it makes sense to take advantage of that agreement with the launch of ILX rather than a Super Bowl ad for this launch,” Acura spokeswoman Jessica Fini wrote in an email on Saturday.
”This first ILX spot is a bit more brand focused and the subsequent ads will show more product/benefit attributes.”
Last year’s AFC title game drew 51.3 million viewers, according to Nielsen. In comparison, Super Bowl XLVIII attracted 111.5 million viewers.
The ILX spot “depicts an Acura engineer trekking into the wild during a driving rain storm to capture lightning in a Leyden Jar, a container that scientists used in the 1700’s to store electricity,” Acura said in a statement. “Having successfully captured a lightning bolt, the Acura engineer returns to his design laboratory to infuse the energy into the new 2016 ILX.”
Reset Productions director Johnny Green, who directed the 2014 Under Armour spot starring ballet dancer Misty Copeland that received more than 7 million views on YouTube, shot the ILX commercial with Acura’s creative agency Mullen.